Trevor De Giorgio is the Head of Compliance at gaming entertainment supplier Play’n GO. He previously served as Chief Legal and Compliance Officer at Greentube. In 2019, he won the Global Regulatory Award as Chief Compliance Officer of the Year.
Malta has managed to retain its attractiveness as an iGaming jurisdiction despite growing competition and regulatory challenges. What’s behind its continuing success?
Malta has maintained its position as a top tier gaming regulator for a number of reasons. First off, the Malta Gaming Authority continues to work on further strengthening the reputation of the authority itself and also the regulatory structure in place. The changes made in various other sectors following Malta’s greylisting by the FATF have also been positive for both the regulator and the country. That being said, we cannot afford to let our guard down, and the role of the MGA as a gatekeeper vis-à-vis reputation is key and vital in growing stronger. Licensees on their part also have an important role to play. Operating within the parameters of their Malta and international licences is key towards strengthening the industry.
How is doing gaming business in Malta today different to how it was in previous years?
The industry in Malta has definitely matured over these past 20 years. It’s safe to say that it has gone from strength to strength, despite some hiccups along the way. The industry is resilient, as is the jurisdiction, and hence we have seen years of continuous growth.
Maturity is definitely the key word here, however, what has also changed, in my view, is the need to have a strong compliance culture in order to approach the new regulatory landscape all stakeholders face, particularly in Europe, where the lack of a common approach has led to piecemeal regulation, to the detriment of licensees and other stakeholders. Such bureaucracy allows unlicensed operators with little or no scruples for the safety of the consumer to thrive in certain environments. More needs to be done here to protect the industry.
There have been numerous other changes in the industry, technology-wise, games-wise, and even from the regulatory aspect – however, to me, the main takeaway is that this industry has matured.
What support has Play’n GO found from local authorities?
Local authorities in Malta have provided invaluable support. The Malta Gaming Authority on its part has always strived to offer the most well-balanced regulatory structure in place. By this I mean that the MGA has always sought to balance the interests of the customer, the industry, and also the jurisdiction when regulating the sector. Having a regulator that is industry-sensitive helps in developing a stronger market.
Can you highlight some major milestones and successes in Play’n GO’s evolution?
Going right back to the origin of the company in the early 2000s, I continue to be struck by the vision that our CEO and the foundation team had – that casino games would be played on mobile phones. This was before the smartphone existed, of course.
Play’n GO also invested heavily in our technology a number of years ago that now allows us to scale to meet the needs of our business and that of our customers. We can now effectively handle any volume of players, and are also able to launch games without any downtime at all.
Our games are built to be fun and entertaining first and foremost, and that ethos is probably THE success story of the business.
What does the future hold for Play’n GO in Malta?
Malta has been, and continues to be, a vital place for the iGaming industry to do business. The licensing regime run by the MGA is of significant importance to us and to our customers, so it is essential for the business to continue to call Malta our home. We are continuing to invest in our Maltese operations and have key staff from all areas of the business located here – we don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Editorial Note – This interview was conducted for our sister brand, and international investment guide, Malta Invest 2023
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